I’m not a nutritionist, so when I saw the opportunity to take a short online nutrition course I jumped at the chance not only to gain CPD points (continuing professional development) but also for my own personal interest and increased knowledge.  The importance of looking after ourselves by taking responsibility and care over how we fuel our bodies is now increasingly understood.  But some of things I learned are incredibly important and not widely enough known.

Although it is now more generally accepted, many people still aren’t aware that it is necessary to take probiotics after being on a course of antibiotics in order to repopulate the digestive system with good bacteria. What is less well known is that this is also critical as there is a difference in gut microflora in healthy and obese people –  if you or  your children have taken antibiotics, it is vital to help the gut rebalance in order to prevent future obesity problems.

And did you know that the following also deplete the good bacteria in your gut:

  • Steroids
  • HRT
  • The Pill
  • A diet high in fat, sugar and alcohol
  • A diet low in fibre
  • Stress
  • Food poisoning
  • Age – yes, the amount of good bacteria in our gut also decreases with age.

So, if you are on the Pill or HRT, be aware that they are causing a continual depletion of beneficial bacteria the entire time you are on them.  The same applies to all the other issues on this list.

Why is this so important?

Have a look at these WOW facts about beneficial bacteria:

  1. The digestive system contains 100,000,000,000,000 bacteria (weighing 1kg / 2lbs) – there are more bacteria in your gut than you have cells in your whole body.
  2. Beneficial bacteria improve nutrition – they  manufacture B vitamins and vitamin K and digest food.
  3. They improve your immune function – 70% of your immune system is in your gut.
  4. They improve detoxification by aiding digestion and stopping food sitting in the gut and producing toxins, and they also help elimination of our own hormones (otherwise they recirculate which isn’t a good idea).

What can you do?

Do your research and find a good advanced probiotic. (NB: there aren’t enough in things like live yoghurts – you need a higher, therapeutic dose).  Choose freeze dried probiotics, not liquid probiotics which contain preservatives, to minimise the toxic load in your body.  Freeze dried are also easier for travelling and storage – they don’t need a fridge.  Of course, do get advice from a good nutritionist or naturopath for your own situation.

To find out about my work, please visit http://www.amandaweller.com

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